Tuesday, April 28, 2015
what's up with heroes? 2 #12
Why do we have any heroes at all? I talked in my last post about why we have superheroes and how I think they stem from the fact that they can help us deal with our own problems a lot nicer than we can. But what makes a hero? Just a general one. Thomas Carlyle essentially said that a hero is somebody who flourishes greatly and pushes things forward. They're not perfect but they are great men. Of course this isn't all a hero is. Heroism is subjective. However, in literature there tends to be a sort of pattern to heroes called the monomyth or the hero's journey, as described by Joseph Campbell. (This video is actually kind of funny and does a pretty good job at detailing the different pieces of the hero's journey.)
All that being said, I believe all literature stems from human experience. So what human experience describes heroism? We hear of great myths of the past: warriors conquering great monsters and men rising up from unlikely origins to great power. So in the past what defined heroism was having the characteristics of those heroes. It's never been bad to be described as herculean because it is typically associated with some form of heroism. But obviously now we don't have great monsters(in the sense of like a hydra) to be conquered so how can anybody truly be a hero?